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  • The Cairncross Review was established in March 2018 to consider the sustainability of high-quality journalism in the UK. The review was set up under the chairmanship of Dame Frances Cairncross.
  • The review examined the overall state of the news media market; the threats to the financial sustainability of publishers; the impact of search engines and social media platforms; and the role of digital advertising. The review reported in February 2019. It contained several recommendations, including:
    • establishing an Institute for Public Interest News;
    • direct funding for local public-interest news;
    • setting up an innovation fund focusing on improving the supply of public interest news;
    • the development of a media literacy strategy; and
    • new forms of tax relief aimed at encouraging payment for online news content and the provision of local and investigative journalism.
  • On 27 January 2020, the Government responded to the review saying it “fully accepts the analysis contained in the report, and is supportive of almost all of the recommendations”.
  • The Government pointed to several actions that corresponded with the review’s recommendations, such as the development of an online media literacy strategy and the launch of a pilot innovation fund. It did not accept the recommendation to establish an Institute for Public Interest News, stating “it is not for the Government to lead on this issue”.
  • The Government also announced plans to “go beyond the recommendations” of the review, by supporting the modernisation of court reporting; supporting transparency in the advertising supply chain; and continuing to ensure a free and independent press in the UK and internationally.

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